Before I sat down to write this, I went outside to put my feet on the earth to drop into myself for a moment.
My mind can pull me off course so fast, before you know it, I’m overthinking, over analyzing, and totally out of flow.
Not only do I have a very active mind (my Mercury, the planet of communication, lives in the sign of Gemini, which is creative and fast).
I also struggle with perfectionism.
This finicky combination includes a well grooved pattern of tallying my life according to my accomplishments and looks (perfection) + expertise as an over self reflector and taking on responsibility.
As a result, this can trigger my inner critic to take the reigns, and act from the place of what I think others will think of me.
In this post we’ll dive into:
- Struggling with Perfectionism
- The Inner Critic
Struggling with Perfectionism
Let Me share a story with you that will tell you exactly what I’m talking about.
Just this month I’ve opened the doors for 5 new private coaching clients, I’m developing a 5 day workshop to live routinely well, and I’m launching an ongoing speaker series inside my FB group, Woman in Flow.
This is all happening while I nurture and care for my current clients, myself, manage travel plans, household duties, and teach yoga in the community.
So you probably won’t be surprised to know that when I looked at my calendar between calls and tasks, I felt really overwhelmed.
The first thing I noticed were all these calls booked for the speaker series.
It felt like too much, and I instantly felt constricted and resistant.
I didn’t want all my time spent taking these calls!
But I couldn’t cancel.
I grabbed Maddie (my dog), and went out for a little midday stroll.
I always feel relief when I go out in nature.
Almost immediately I realized (and when I say realized, I mean divine intervention could get in and remind me) I didn’t have to take all those expert calls right now!
I noticed what I had done, I opened up my calendar for intro calls with these coaches in a “I have to get this done” way.
Have you done this, too?
When you’ve got a lot of projects going at the same time, the usual way to handle the pile up is just “get it done”.
What I remembered is that this series is ongoing…which means I get to schedule it month by month. I don’t have to do it all RIGHT NOW.
(Right now = Classic perfectionism/control way to do things)
Proud of myself for my realization, I mosied on home feeling a lot lighter.
Until I sat down to write the experts, some who had already scheduled their call with me.
The Inner Critic
There she was, the inner critic, what will they think? she probed at me as I sat there staring at the email, fingers on the keyboard, ready to type.
I sat there for a good few minutes in that exact space, really feeling this perfection part of me and how that thought, “what will they think of me?” made me feel.
If you’ve heard the same question in your own mind, you probably know it doesn’t feel good.
And for a long, LONG time, I let this voice rule what I said based on that question. I let her speak for me to please the people on the other end of whatever conversation I happened to be in.
But no more, here’s what I did instead –
I took a few deep breaths.
I asked myself if I was really going to let them rule my schedule, AKA my LIFE.
I told myself, “you get to do whatever you want!” “this is YOUR series!”
I got out of my perfectionism mindset, into mySELF and wrote from my heartfelt truth. I told them I was making this harder for myself than it needed to be.
I set up the expectations for how it would be going forward, apologized for any inconvenience, and thanked them for their understanding.
And you know what?
Not only did I feel ahhhhhmazing, one of the experts, who is also a friend/colleague, emailed me back right away and said, “I love seeing you cure overwhelm in action!”
It’s not always easy to go against the “shoulds” your mind imposes on you, and it’s definitely not easy to go against an ingrained pattern!
But over time, it can be done.
Do you struggle with perfectionism, too?
Comment below and tell me what you hear when you’re inner critic chimes in.
Want to go further?
I’ve opened up my June calendar to serve women just like you who feel the pressure to be anything less than perfect.
You read how my critical thoughts led to my overwhelm, your inner critic is likely part of why you feel overwhelmed, too.
Let’s explore together how perfectionism shows up in your life, let’s connect and make a plan to help you get out of overwhelm, and into flow.
talk about what we can do to help you get out of overwhelm, and into flow.